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Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

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34567 Number of children  in  family
Figure 13. Per capita food expenditures per week by number of children in the family, Candelaria, Colombia, 1963-1964. Source: Wray and Aguirre (10).
extensive survey of consumer expenditures and income was carried out by the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1960-61. Their report (68) includes a detailed review of expenditures by income group as well as by family size.
In Table 19 the figures were obtained simply by expressing the reported expenditures for food as a percentage of the total expenditures in each family size-income class category. The data show two things clearly: as income rises, families spend a smaller proportion of it for food, but as family size increases, a higher percentage is spent for food at all income levels. This parallels the observations in Colombia exactly. In Table 20, however, we see that the end result of spending a higher proportion of income for food is also parallel to the situation in Colombia—the average per person expenditures fall significantly as family size increases. The total family expenditures increase with income, but the average spent per person decreases with family size at every level, including the highest income classes. Furthermore, the decreases are considerable: six-or-more-person families are spending around 40 percent less per person than are the three-person families at every income level up to $15,000 or higher.*
*The report includes data on expenditures for food prepared at home and food away from home. Only the former were used in these calculations. The rationale for this choice was: (a) It is food prepared at home that largely determines the nutrition ofe causal web.